Piercing Brightness is a science fiction film directed by internationally acclaimed artist Shezad Dawood. The film utilizes science fiction as a backdrop from which to contest fixed notions of race, migration and identity. The plot interweaves elements of documentary, within a character-driven narrative involving the different and changing communities in Preston, in the North of England and points to Lancashire’s position as having the highest UFO sighting rate and the fastest growing Mainland Chinese population in the UK. The film combines digital and analogue processes, high production values and low-fi aesthetics to tell a story through both its narrative and distortions of time brought about by experiments with the various formats used. The story begins with Jiang and Shin, a young Chinese boy and girl, who land in a spacecraft outside of Preston. They have been sent on a mission to retrieve the ‘Glorious 100’ – agents who were sent to this planet millennia ago to study and observe. Living through countless lives without any scope for return, many have become corrupted, forgetting their original purpose and slowly becoming influenced by and in turn influencing their adopted home. Jiang and Shin negotiate uneasy alliances as they try to pursue their mission, constantly pursued by a hooded bike gang. The film comes to a dramatic close on the roof of the controversial brutalist structure of Preston Bus Station roof, the setting for the ‘Extraction’ of the Glorious 100.
Written by Kate Parker
|Cast:||Chen Ko, Cheng Kok, Houda Echouafni|